What’s a White Knight to do when he’s in search of a damsel in distress? Find one. Save her. Even if she says she’s no victim, she’s not in distress and she doesn’t need to be saved. Zoe Katz, a 22-year-old USC student, was just fine and didn’t need saving, Matt Boermeester’s neighbor, however, had to be a good ally and save her anyway.
In the statement, Katz said she and Boermeester have dated for more than a year. The Title IX investigation began, Steigerwalt said, after a neighbor witnessed Boermeester and Katz roughhousing. The neighbor told his roommate, who told a coach in USC’s athletic department that Boermeester was abusing Katz. The coach then reported the incident to the Title IX office.
One tells another, who tells someone who’s subject to mandatory reporting, and so it goes. At each stage, there’s a rationale that justifies why it must be done, to protect the delicate and vulnerable who are incapable of helping themselves. Poor women, so helpless. Except Katz wasn’t helpless.
Zoe Katz, 22, a senior, said in a two-page statement her attorney emailed to The Times that Boermeester “has been falsely accused of conduct involving me.” Katz confirmed that the statement was hers. Her attorney, Kerry L. Steigerwalt, said that USC alleged that Boermeester shoved Katz outside her home.
There was no “there there,” according to Katz. She wasn’t abused. She wasn’t assaulted. And most importantly, she didn’t need the Title IX office to save her.
Katz said she was summoned to a mandatory meeting with Title IX officials, where she told investigators that the two were playing around. Katz was subsequently told that she “must be afraid of Matt,” she said. She told officials she was not. Boermeester has not been arrested or charged with a crime.
“When I told the truth about Matt, in repeated interrogations, I was stereotyped and was told I must be a ‘battered’ woman, and that made me feel demeaned and absurdly profiled,” Katz said. “I understand that domestic violence is a terrible problem, but in no way does that apply to Matt and me.”
Katz said that she has “never been abused, assaulted or otherwise mistreated by Matt.”
The myths made up to explain away some women’s failure to take appropriate action after being assaulted was turned on its head and used against Katz. They believed the myths too much, refusing to accept that Katz wasn’t a victim. She had to be. All women are victims; some just don’t realize it. They must be saved despite their lack of awareness of their victimhood.
Boermeester, on the other hand, is exactly the sort of guy who is supposed to be an abuser under Title IX mythology.
Boermeester, who kicked the game-winning field goal for USC in the Rose Bowl, was suspended from USC, then barred from campus and from meeting with USC’s athletic trainers or members of the football team. The school also barred Boermeester from contacting Katz, she said.
Sports hero? Football player? Male? He’s the perfect cartoon character crafted to be blamed.
A spokesman for USC, in an emailed statement to The Times, said that “the university has concluded its investigation. Student disciplinary records and proceedings regarding any matter of student conduct are confidential and protected by law. Per the registrar, he is no longer enrolled at the university.”
That must have been one serious investigation, where the putative victim says nobody did anything wrong to her. She was so unwoke. And the virtuous school played it double good by protecting confidential student records, even though confidentiality belongs to the student, not the school.*
In the statement, Katz said she is coming forward now to clear Boermeester’s name and lobby for change in the Title IX office’s investigative procedures.
“Matt Boermeester did nothing improper against me, ever,” Katz said. “I would not stand for it. Nor will I stand for watching him be maligned and lied about.”
Whether Boermeester had a future as a pro football kicker, or just wanted to graduate from college after putting in, and paying for, three years, the claims that this process is no big deal are shown to be nonsensical. His being thrown out of USC will have a disastrous impact on his life. So his rough housing with his girlfriend looked too abusive to some neighbor? So what?
But even if one can forgive the neighbor for his white knighting, believing he was helping even though misguided, the momentum and flagrant bias on the part of the Title IX office pushed this non-event down the rabbit hole. There was no way Katz couldn’t be a victim, and they had a litany of excuses to brush off the dear little damsel who just didn’t realize she was in distress.
As for the “investigation,” consider the efficacy of a Title IX investigation resulting in Boermeester being thrown out of USC where the supposed victim says “nothing improper” ever happened. It’s like the murder trial where the dead guy walks through the courtroom doors, conclusively proving he’s alive, but the jury convicts anyway.
This is the system of excuses and rationalizations created to save fragile womanhood under Title IX. As for Boermeester, who cares about cartoon character sports hero males? They’re too privileged to begin with, and deserve whatever they get. His life is expendable to save Zoe Katz’s life, except that she didn’t need to be saved.
*In a subsequent statement, USC said:
“USC stands by its investigation and the accounts provided by multiple witnesses. As previously stated, student disciplinary records are confidential. If the students involved waive their confidentiality rights, the university will offer a detailed response.”
This came after the article was published. While it suggests that blame for confidentiality falls on Boermeester, there is nothing to suggest he would have any reason to conceal what happened or that he had been given the opportunity to waive confidentiality.